Thon Maker wastes no time making an impression in Detroit
In his second appearance since being traded by Milwaukee, Aussie Thon Maker stole the show. It was a night Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin topped 30 points but Maker remained on everyone’s minds.
DON'T JUMP WITH THON MAKER. pic.twitter.com/snOs2zmAGD
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 12, 2019
Maker finished with five and five, five points and five stitches. The centre played 75 seconds in the first half of Detroit’s 121-112 win over the Wizards but during that time he managed to suffer an ugly gash to the mouth and appeared to lose a tooth when Jordan McRae unintentionally head butted him.
Maker returned to the court after getting his mouth sewn back together and won plaudits from his coach;
“What a hustler that young man is,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said.
“I love the way he competes. His spirit is in the right place. He’s about winning.”
Superstar teammate Blake Griffin added of Maker: “His energy tonight was unbelievable.
“He played just as hard in the second half. Gets five stitches, came back in and plays just as hard … that attitude, that toughness, is a huge thing for us.”
Thon Maker was aquired in a three-team trade that sent Stanley Johnson to New Orleans.
The 121-112 win over Washington was the fourth straight for the Pistons, and the fifth win out of six. With the teams immediately in front of (Charlotte) and behind (Miami) the Pistons both losing, they wound up a half-game behind the Hornets for the No. 7 spot and a full game ahead of Miami for the No. 8 spot in the East.
“It was a big one for us,” said Luke Kennard, who hit 4 of 6 triples and scored 15 off the bench in more than 28 minutes, taking advantage of the opportunity created by the trade of Reggie Bullock to the Lakers.
“Obviously, everyone from here on out is an important one for us, but we’re five and one in the last six. We’ve got one more before the (All-Star) break and it’s just as important. We can’t take our break now. We’ve got one more to take care of.”
Griffin finished a rebound and an assist shy of a triple-double to go with 31 points. Drummond scored a season-high 32 points to go with 17 rebounds and four steals.
“The theme of this stretch we’ve been on has been about us,” Griffin said. “It hasn’t been about other teams. It’s what we’re doing. We beat Golden State, Boston, Houston, Toronto, Philly. We’ve beat these teams. And we’ve also lost – no disrespect – to Atlanta and some teams toward the bottom. It doesn’t matter what your opponent does. It matters what we do.”